Norway-led peacekeeper base attacked in Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Faryab Province of Afghanistan

Demonstrators today attacked a Norwegian peacekeeper base in Meymaneh, Faryab, north-west Afghanistan. The demonstrators fired at the base, threw hand grenades and molotov cocktails. 32 Norwegian, 16 Finnish, three Latvian and one Icelandic peacekeepers were present at the camp during the attack, say the Norwegian Defence Forces.

According to local authorities, says MTV3, four demonstrators were killed. The amount of injured demonstrators varies between five and 30, depending on the source. In addition, five Norwegian peacekeepers were injured. The original attack consisted of around 700 demonstrators, says AFP. There was a 'core' team of around 30 armed demonstrators within the crowd.

The ISAF peacekeepers fired teargas and warning shots in response to the demonstrators' attacks. Britain has, according to BBC, sent 120 reinforcements. Fighter airplanes have fired warning shots around the crowd. According to some sources, Afghani police and military were sent to the area as well.

The purpose of the demonstration remains unknown, say the Finnish Defence Forces, but it is believed that the demonstrations have a connection with the Muhammad cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten.